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A principal-designate has been appointed to lead and implement the merger of UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides (formerly Lews Castle College) and UHI West Highland.

This appointee is Lydia Rohmer, the current principal of UHI West Highland, who will take up her new role shortly, with responsibility for collaboratively leading the senior teams at UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides and UHI West Highland towards a merger date in August 2023, and establishing the new college. 

Lydia is described as a talented executive leader with more than 25 years’ experience working in the Scottish education sector and a passionate advocate of the rural and island communities in the North and West Highlands and Outer Hebrides.

Dr Michael Foxley, Chair of the Partnership Board leading the merger, said: “Lydia has extensive experience of creating successful colleges through merger having led the development of UHI West Highland, following the merger of Lochaber College and Skye and Wester Ross College.

"Before that, she held the position of Curriculum Director at City of Glasgow College, a role she assumed following her role in the merger of Glasgow’s city centre colleges.

"She has held senior executive roles at UHI and serves on a number of sector-wide, tertiary education groups in Scotland. I am delighted to appoint Lydia to this position and know she will work tirelessly with her fellow principals to build a thriving college of scale and impact, which provides maximum benefit to our students, staff, and communities, and responds to the economic opportunities in our region.”

Lydia Rohmer said: “Merger gives us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a college of scale and impact, which plays a transformative role in unlocking the economic opportunities for our region.

"Building on the successes and specialisms of UHI North Highland, UHI Outer Hebrides, and UHI West Highland, and in partnership with UHI, we can create a college which provides a gateway to distinctive world class education, research, and innovation, with a unique access model rooted in its rural and island communities.

"I feel incredibly privileged and humbled to lead such a fantastic team and look forward to meeting as many staff, students and stakeholders across the North and West Highlands and Outer Hebrides as possible over the coming months.”

Debbie Murray, Principal of UHI North Highland, and Hannah Ritchie-Muir, Interim Principal of UHI Outer Hebrides, will continue in their roles until August, at which point, they will assume key roles in the merged college.

Earlier this month the boards of management at the three colleges formally approved the merger proposal and business case, which has now been submitted to the Scottish Government for approval.

With 9000 students, 600 staff and 19 learning centres and campuses stretching from Caithness and Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty to Lochaber, Wester Ross, Skye, and the Outer Hebrides, the merged college is ideally placed to develop Gaelic language provision and respond to the region’s key growth sectors including the economic opportunities around net zero decarbonisation, renewable energy, engineering, advanced manufacturing, and aquaculture.

The Partnership Board, which was set up to lead and develop the case for merger, will now become a Transition Board. Applications are now open for the position of Chair of the Transition Board, which will become the Board of Management for the new college on vesting. For more information, and to download an application pack, visit www.rural-islands-merger.uhi.ac.uk

Prionnsabal ainmichte suidhichte airson na colaiste cho-aonaichte

Tha PRIONNSABAL ainmichte air a bhith air a suidheachadh gus stiùireadh agus cur an sàs a’ cho-aonaidh de UHI Gàidhealtachd a Tuath, UHI Innse Gall agus UHI Gàidhealtachd an Iar.

Bidh Lydia Rohmer, a tha an-dràsta na prionnsabal air UHI Gàidhealtachd an Iar, a’ tòiseachadh san dreuchd ùr aice a dh’aithghearr, le uallach a bhith a’ stiùireadh gu co-obrachail na h-àrd-sgiobaidhean aig UHI Gàidhealtachd a Tuath, UHI Innse Gall agus UHI Gàidhealtachd an Iar gu ceann-latha co-aonaidh san Lùnastal 2023, agus a bhith a’ stèidheachadh na colaiste ùir. 

Is e àrd-stiùiriche tàlantach a tha ann an Lydia le còrr air 25 bliadhna de dh’eòlas ann a bhith ag obair san earrann foghlam Albannach agus na tagraiche dìoghrasach às leth nan coimhearsnachdan dùthchail agus eileanach ann an ceann a Tuath agus Iar na Gàidhealtachd agus anns na h-Eileanan an Iar.

Thuirt Mìcheal Foxley, Cathraiche Bòrd a’ Chom-pàirteachais a tha a’ stiùireadh a’ cho-aonaidh: “Tha fèin-fhiosrachadh mòr aig Lydia ann a bhith a’ cruthachadh colaistean soirbheachail tro cho-aonadh an dèidh dhi a bhith a’ stiùireadh a’ cho-aonaidh de UHI Gàidhealtachd an Iar, an dèidh a’ cho-aonaidh eadar Colaiste Loch Abair agus Colaiste an Eilean Sgitheanaich agus Taobh Siar Rois.  Ron sin, bha i ann an dreuchd Stiùiriche Curraicealaim aig Colaiste Cathair-bhaile Ghlaschu, a ghabh i an dèidh dhi a bhith an sàs ann an co-aonadh nan colaistean a bha ann am meadhan cathair-bhaile Ghlaschu. Tha dreuchdan àrda air a bhith aice aig UHI agus tha i a’ frithealadh air grunnan bhuidhnean tar-roinne foghlam treas ìre ann an Alba. Tha mi air leth toilichte Lydia a shuidheachadh san dreuchd seo agus tha fhios ’am gun obraich i gu dìcheallach còmhla ris na prionnsabalan eile gus colaiste shoirbheachail de sgèile agus buaidh a thogail, a  bhios a’ toirt a’ bhuannachd as motha do ar n-oileanaich, luchd-obrach agus coimhearsnachdan, agus a’ freagairt ris na cothroman eaconamach san roinn againn.” 

Thuirt Lydia Rohmer, Prionnsabal Ainmichte den cholaiste cho-aonaichte: “Tha an co-aonadh a’ toirt dhuinn cothrom aon uair ann an linn gus colaiste de sgèile agus buaidh a stèidheachadh, a tha a’ cluich dreuchd chruth-atharrachail ann a bhith a’ fuasgladh nan cothroman eaconamach airson na roinne againn.  A’ togail air soirbheachasan agus spèisealachdan UHI Gàidhealtachd a Tuath, UHI Innse Gall agus UHI Gàidhealtachd an Iar, agus ann an com-pàirteachas le UHI, is urrainn dhuinn colaiste a stèidheachadh a bhios na slighe a-steach gu foghlam aig ìre an t-saoghail mhòir, rannsachadh agus ùr-ghnàthachas, le modail de chothrom ruigsinneachd air leth, freumhaichte sna coimhearsnachdan dùthchail is eileanach aca.  Tha e na urram mhòr dhomh agus na adhbhar ùmhlachd air leth a bhith a’ stiùireadh an sgioba mhìorbhaileach a tha seo agus tha mi a’ coimhead air adhart ri bhith a’ coinneachadh ris nas urrainn dhomh de luchd-obrach, oileanaich agus luchd-ùidh thar taobh Tuath agus Siar na Gàidhealtachd agus na h-Eileanan an Iar sna mìosan a tha romhainn.” 

Leanaidh Debbie Mhoireach, Prionnsabal UHI Gàidhealtachd a Tuath, agus Hannah Ritchie-Muir, Prionnsabal Eadar-amail UHI Innse Gall, anns na dreuchdan aca chun Lùnastal, agus aig an àm sin, bidh iad air an suidheachadh ann am prìomh dhreuchdan sa cholaiste cho-aonaichte.

Na bu tràithe air a’ mhìos seo dh’aontaich bùird-stiùiridh nan trì colaistean gu foirmeil ris a’ mholadh airson co-aonadh agus ris a’ chùis gnothachais, a tha a-nis air a dhol gu Riaghaltas na h-Alba airson aonta.

Le 9000 oileanach, 600 luchd-obrach agus 19 ionadan-ionnsachaidh bho Gallaibh agus Cataibh, Ros is Crombaidh gu Loch Abar, Ros an Iar, An t-Eilean Sgitheanach agus na h-Eileanan an Iar, tha a’ cholaiste cho-aonaichte ann an deagh àite gus solair Gàidhlig a leasachadh agus freagairt air prìomh earrannan fàis na roinne a’ gabhail a-steach nan cothroman eaconamach a tha an cois neoni-dì-charbonachadh, lùth ath-nuadhachail, einnseanaireachd, sàr shaorachadh agus tuathanachas uisge.

Tha an co-dhùnadh le na bùird a’ leantainn air 10 seachdainean de cho-chomhairleachadh poblach agus cuairt shoirbheachail le Comhairle-maoineachaidh na h-Alba gu campasan anns a’ Gearasdan, Steòrnabhagh agus Inbhir Theòrsa.

Bidh am Bòrd Com-pàirteachais, a chaidh a chuir air chois gus stiùireadh agus leasachadh na cùise airson co-aonadh, a-nis ag atharrachadh gu bhith na Bhòrd Eadar-ghluasad. 

Thathar a’ sireadh thagraidhean a-nis airson dreuchd Cathraiche a’ Bhùird Eadar-amail, a leanas air adhart gu bhith na Bhòrd Stiùiridh airson na colaiste ùir an dèidh dhi a bhith air a suidheachadh.  Airson barrachd fiosrachaidh, agus airson paca-iarrtais fhaighinn, thèid gu www.rural-islands-merger.uhi.ac.uk